United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss (Dkt. No. 5) and Plaintiff's motion for leave to
file an amended complaint (Dkt. No. 17). Having thoroughly
considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record,
the Court hereby GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss
(Dkt. No. 5) and GRANTS Plaintiff's motion for leave to
file an amended complaint (Dkt. No. 17) for the reasons
Esther Jones-Alley alleges that Defendants MTGLQ Investors,
LP and Selene Finance, LP are liable for a series of illegal
loan assignments that occurred after she received a loan to
purchase real property in Kent, Washington. (See
generally Dkt. No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that she has
been unable to successfully apply for loan modifications.
(Id. at 3.) Although it is not entirely clear, it
appears that Plaintiff's theory of liability is either
that: (1) the loan assignments were fraudulent because
assignees covertly acted as both assignees and assignors, and
now Plaintiff does not know who the real party in interest to
her property is or (2) a rescission took place near the
beginning of the chain of loan assignments that invalidated
all of the subsequent loan assignments. (See generally
id.) As a result of these fraudulent activities,
Plaintiff's home is facing foreclosure proceedings and a
foreclosure sale is scheduled for July 26, 2019. (Dkt. No. 12
at 36-37.) On May 13, 2019, Plaintiff filed this
lawsuit seeking declaratory relief and alleging
the following claims: reasonable reliance; detrimental
reliance; fraud in the concealment; fraud in the inducement;
unconscionable contracts; breach of contract; breach of
fiduciary duty; quiet title; slander of title; violation of
the Consumer Credit Protection Act; and violation of 12
C.F.R. § 1024.41(b)(2)(i)(A). (Dkt. No. 1 at 35-54.)
than a month after Plaintiff filed her complaint, Defendants
filed a motion to dismiss all of Plaintiff's claims
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt.
No. 5.) Defendants make several arguments in support of
dismissal, including that Plaintiff fails to allege facts
sufficient to make any of her causes of action
plausible. (Id. at 7-9.) In her response to
Defendants' motion to dismiss, Plaintiff admits that all
of Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) arguments are meritorious
and that her complaint fails to state a viable claim as
alleged. (See Dkt. No. 13 at 9-10.) After admitting
that all of her claims fail as currently pled, she asks the
Court to grant her leave to amend her complaint so that she
can fix the deficiencies. (Id.) Plaintiff
subsequently filed a motion for leave to amend her complaint,
and included a proposed amended complaint (Dkt. Nos. 17,
reviewed each of the causes of action alleged in the
complaint, the Court FINDS that Plaintiff has failed to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff fails to
state a claim for detrimental reliance because the complaint
contains no factual allegations demonstrating that Plaintiff
detrimentally relied on the acts or statements of either
Defendant. See Safeco Ins. Co. of Am. v. Butler, 823
P.2d 499, 511 (Wash. 1992). Plaintiff fails to state a claim
for fraud in the concealment or fraud in the inducement
because the complaint contains no specific factual
allegations demonstrating that Defendants made false
representations that Plaintiff relied on to her detriment.
See Stiley v. Block, 925 P.2d 194, 203 (Wash. 1996).
Plaintiff fails to state a claim for unconscionable contract
because the complaint does not contain factual allegations
demonstrating that Plaintiff entered a contract that was
either procedurally or substantively unconscionable. See
Torgerson v. One Lincoln Tower, LLC, 210 P.3d 318, 322
(Wash. 2009). Plaintiff fails to state a claim for breach of
contract because the complaint fails to allege facts
demonstrating that a contract exists between the parties or
facts demonstrating how Defendants breached a specific
contractual obligation. See Nw. Indep. Forest Mfrs. v.
Dep't of Labor & Indus., 899 P.2d 6, 9
fails to state a claim for breach of fiduciary duty because
the complaint does not contain factual allegations
demonstrating that Defendants owed Plaintiff a fiduciary
duty. See Miller v. U.S. Bank of Wash., N.A., 865
P.2d 536, 543 (Wash.Ct.App. 1994). Plaintiff fails to state a
claim to quiet title because the complaint does not allege
facts demonstrating that Plaintiff has fulfilled her
obligations as a borrower under the relevant deed of trust.
See Walker v. Quality Loan Serv. Corp., 308 P.3d
716, 728 (Wash.Ct.App. 2013). Plaintiff fails to state a
claim for slander of title because the complaint does not
contain facts demonstrating that Defendants published any
false representations regarding the title to Plaintiff's
home. See Pay'n Save Corp. v. Eads, 767 P.2d
592, 595 (Wash.Ct.App. 1989).
fails to state a claim for violation of the federal Consumer
Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g), because the
complaint does not contain facts demonstrating that either
Defendant violated a specific provision of that statute.
Finally, Plaintiff fails to state a claim for violation of
Regulation X, 12 C.F.R. § 1024.41(b)(2)(i)(A), because
the complaint does not contain factual allegations
demonstrating that Plaintiff was entitled to protection under
that regulation or that Defendants violated the regulation.
proposed amended complaint (Dkt. No. 17-1) additionally
includes a claim under the Washington State Consumer
Protection Act, Wash. Rev. Code § 19.86 et
seq., and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e, 1692f.
“To prevail in a private [Consumer Protection Act]
claim, the plaintiff must prove (1) an unfair or deceptive
act or practice, (2) occurring in trade or commerce, (3)
affecting the public interest, (4) injury to a person's
business or property, and (5) causation.” Panag v.
Farmers Ins. Co. of Washington, 204 P.3d 885, 889 (Wash.
2009) (citing Hangman Ridge Training Stables v. Safeco
Title Ins. Co., 105 Wash.2d 778, 786 (Wash. 1986)).
Under the FDCPA, a debt collector “may not use any
false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in
connection with the collection of any debt.” 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692e. The statute also prohibits a debt collector
from using “unfair or unconscionable means to collect
or attempt to collect any debt.” 15 U.S.C. §
the Court gives pro se plaintiffs leave to amend
unless “it is absolutely clear that the deficiencies of
the complaint could not be cured by amendment.”
Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir.
1995). Under the circumstances, the Court will grant
Plaintiff one opportunity to amend her complaint in
accordance with the following directives.
avoid dismissal, a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 664 (2009). The factual allegations must be
“enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint may be
dismissed if it lacks a cognizable legal theory or states
insufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory.
Zixiang v. Kerry, 710 F.3d 995, 999 (9th Cir. 2013).
addition to the legal deficiencies that the Court has
identified with Plaintiff's causes of action, the factual
allegations that Plaintiff includes in her amended complaint
must describe how the Defendants named in this lawsuit-MTGLQ
Investors, LP and Selene Finance, LP only-are liable to her
for any misconduct alleged. For each legal claim, or cause of
action, that Plaintiff asserts against Defendants, she must
provide some factual allegations that will allow the Court to
infer that her claims are plausible. See Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 664. Mere legal conclusions-for example, that
“Defendants breached a contract” or that
“Defendants committed fraud”-are insufficient to
state a viable legal claim.
extent Plaintiff alleges that Defendants committed fraudulent
conduct, as she implies in her original complaint, Plaintiff
must support her claims with specific and detailed factual
allegations. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). This rule
requires that a complaint allege the “who, what, when,
where, and how” of the fraud. Vess v. Ciba-Geigy
Corp. USA, 317 F.3d 1097, 1106 (9th Cir. 2003). Thus,
Plaintiff must explain who committed fraudulent conduct, when
the fraud occurred, and how the alleged conduct was
fraudulent. Moreover, Plaintiff must allege facts that
demonstrate that Defendants are responsible for the allegedly
on the foregoing, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion to
dismiss (Dkt. No. 5), and GRANTS Plaintiff's motion for
leave to file an amended complaint (Dkt. No. 17). The Court
will not accept Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint
that she previously filed. (See Dkt. No. 17-1.)
Instead, Plaintiff must file an amended complaint that
complies with the terms of this order. The amended complaint
must carry the same case number as this one and must be filed
within 21 days from the date of this order. If no amended
complaint is timely filed, the Court will enter a final
judgment dismissing Plaintiff's claims for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
is advised that an amended pleading operates as a
complete substitute for her original pleading.
See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th
Cir. 1992). Thus, any amended complaint must clearly identify
the defendant(s), the causes of actions asserted, the
specific facts which Plaintiff believes support each claim,